BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën are set to extend their joint venture operations to include a new small car platform, which could be used to create a front-wheel-drive 1-series as well as the next generation of Minis.
Already involved in the joint design and production of four-pot engines for Mini and PSA models, the two firms are working on a deal to build a new modular front-wheel drive platform.
The planned structure will underpin the next-generation Mini range, as well as successors to the Citroën C3 and C4, Peugeot 308 and the forthcoming Peugeot 208.
“It’s no secret that we have been seeking to extend our joint venture operations. In the end we decided to build on our successful relationship with Peugeot,” said a BMW source. The decision is scheduled to be made public early next year.
But the biggest change would involve the platform’s use in the 1-series. BMW officials have hinted that future incarnations of the 1-series could sit on the same basic structure as the 2013 Mini.
“Nothing is concrete at this stage but discussions are on-going about whether or not BMW should break with the tradition of rear and four-wheel-drive cars,” said a BMW source. “For many in this company it is a taboo subject. But we have to be realistic with the targets we have set ourselves for fuel consumption and emissions, and they clearly favour a front-wheel-drive solution for 2018.”
The platform is said to centre on a front-end module, including the entire engine bay, front suspension and bulkhead, to which each car maker will attach its own rear end. That solution would allow BMW to retain the Mini’s multi-link suspension.